The Closure Myth



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About Film

The Closure Myth tells the story of Aba Gayle, a woman whose daughter was stabbed to death in 1980, yet who now visits the murderer on death row and acts as an advocate on his behalf. Formerly lusting for an execution, Aba Gayle spent 8 years after her daughter’s death consumed by her desire for revenge – attending the sentencing of Douglas Mickey as he received the death penalty for the killing, and asking for a seat at his impending execution. After many long and painful years, Aba Gayle came to believe that capital punishment was not going to bring her peace. Instead, in an attempt to heal, she did the unexpected: she wrote her daughter’s killer a letter expressing her forgiveness. “The instant the letter was in the mailbox,” she says, “all the anger, all the rage, all the lust for revenge…it disappeared.”

Despite the widespread perception that executions bring victims’ families peace of mind, the truth is that, just as the country remains deeply divided on the issue of capital punishment, so, too, do victims’ families. Many, like Aba Gayle, say that instead of the death penalty bringing them solace, the appeals and anticlimax involved in an execution prevent them from finding ways to heal. By tracing Aba Gayle’s dramatic transformation from before her daughter’s murder to the present, and chronicling the emotional ordeal that she encounters as Douglas Mickey’s execution nears, The Closure Myth tells a powerful story of forgiveness and articulates this often overlooked perspective in the death penalty debate.


Produced & Directed by:
Erika Street

Additional Videography:
Cal Johnson

Cinematographer and Editor:
Erika Street

Original Music by:
Robby Aceto

Post Production Audio:
Jon Hilton

Additional Footage:
Lightbridge Productions
A Course in Miracles

Ari Kohen, C.R. Snyder & Richard Dieter

Special Thanks:
The Journey of Hope
The Family of Catherine Blount
LogTV, Ltd.
Kelli Wilson
Corning Quakers
David J. Rowe
The Street Family

An Inner Light Media Production with additional funding provided by The Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association and The Philadelphia Foundation

Screenings and Awards


• Tacoma Film Festival, October, 2006, Tacoma, Washinton, U S A

• International Human Rights Day Screening, organized by Anchorage Int’l Film Festival, hosted by Alaskans Against the Death Penalty, Anchorage, Alaska, USA, December, 2006

• George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, Alabama, USA, March, 2007

• DC Independent Film Festival, Washington DC, USA, March, 2007

• James Madison University Human Rights Film Fest, April, 2007

• Hearts and Minds Film Festival, (honorarable non-selection)

Broadcast History

• LinkTV

• Free Speech Television (FSTV)